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No matter the industry, budget, or where a brand stands in its lifecycle, quality content is an absolute must. Great content through meaningful storytelling is the best way to connect with consumers—inviting them into a brand’s world through various touchpoints and channels. “Everything that we do at School House is about defining what works for a brand's unique expression. When we create content, we like to think about content not as an execution but as a pillar of a brand’s ability to create salience with a consumer. With so many touchpoints across digital media, consumers see so many fragments of brand. That's why it's important for us to consider the larger story we're telling with each individual piece of content,” says School House Founder and Principal, Christopher Skinner. To create content that resonates, it takes a strategic, thought-out approach. And while static images and GIFs are the foundation of most digital content, short-form video is quickly becoming table stakes, thanks to TikTok, in establishing a brand’s relevance and authenticity.
With an increasing number of brands and an influx of content, the digital space has become extremely crowded. Using examples from School House agency’s new, innovative offering, School House Studios, we’ll look at elements of successful content. School House Studios is a unique, one-stop shop for custom content for beauty and wellness brands at scale—supported by an in-house team of producers, art directors, photographers, retouchers, and editors. Here are four ways to create meaningful, strategic content for beauty and wellness brands in 2022.
1. Value-Driven Content
In an increasingly digital world with less in-person interaction combined with a surplus of digital content, how can beauty brands create meaningful content that cuts through the noise? The answer lies in empathy, where value-driven content helps build a connection with an audience through an authentic and meaningful approach. A great example of this is clean cosmetics brand Jane Iredale, and its campaign for PurePressed Base Mineral Foundation. School House Studios focused on showing the versatility of the powder by showing the many facets of the product, including the depth of shade range, sustainable features, refillable packaging, and models of various ages, ethnicities, and different skin types. In this case, the powder is not just a piece of makeup; by including these multidimensional elements in the visuals, the story of the powder unfolds, revealing all the purposeful characteristics that make up the whole.
2. Brand Expression
Social media content serves as a soft touchpoint where followers and new audiences can experience the brand. Brands are no longer static entities with one TV commercial and one print ad. Brands have to be nimble and flexible, stretching their expression so they can appear authentically across various platforms. In beauty and wellness, brands will typically have various collections and products with distinct identities. Known for trendy nail strips and press-ons, Dashing Diva has several unique product offerings with nuanced visual identities. They recently collaborated with Disney and Pixar’s Turning Red on a fun and whimsical collection of nail art strips and stickers. School House Studios created content for this collection that strategically balances the spirit of the movie with Dashing Diva’s artistry and expression to create content that both resonates and reflects the respective identities of both brands. The content is careful not to lean too far in one direction, artfully reflecting the power of a strategically flexible brand expression.
Connecting with your audience is essential, and the way to do this successfully is by actively engaging and observing what your consumers are interested in. Over the past few years, ASMR content has started trending across nearly all industries. School House Studios worked with skincare brand Dr. Dennis Gross to tap into this relevant and timely trend through sensorially expressive content. The brand worked with School House Studios to create a set of videos and stills that highlight close-ups of different product textures that transports the viewer into the world of Dr. Dennis Gross. Staying tuned in to your audience’s ever-shifting interests and needs is so important when creating meaningful content. The key to doing this successfully is finding where the trend or interest authentically overlaps with the brand.
When it comes to creating content, executing in a smart, sustainable way is always the goal. In 2022, strategic content doesn’t have to come in the form of a $10 million shoot with A-list celebrities. We’ve all heard the phrase “work smarter, not harder.” So why shouldn’t that apply to content production? School House Studios was built to mirror an in-house creative studio with dedicated talent across key creative disciplines. They’re working smarter by bringing all aspects of content creation under one roof. With nootropic and adaptogen seltzer brand Hiyo, the content created is an example of how School House Studios is a true one-stop shop for social and digital content capabilities. Imagine if everyone in the content creation process—from the producers to the photographer to the retouchers—truly understood the brief and could work together to collaborate on one cohesive vision. The result is beautifully crafted, strategic content, created at scale.
“School House Studios was born from the realization that brands need quality content at scale. To do this in the most effective way, we were able to transform our organizational structure and created a team of in-house experts to help beauty and wellness brands tell their stories in meaningful and effective ways. Our focus will always be to produce strategic creative powered by our deep understanding of the beauty and wellness space,” Skinner explains.